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Federal Research Agency Awards $96 Million in Grants

Things continue to bustle at the federal Institute of Education Sciences. Yesterday the institute, which is the main research arm for the U.S. Department of Education, posted a long list of grants that it has recently awarded to researchers around the country. In all, 36 projects are getting a total of $96 million in grant awards.

There are some interesting projects and a couple of new centers in the mix. Some examples:


  • The new National Research and Development Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools will use student-achievement data to identify high schools that are successful with students that are traditionally low-performing and those that aren't. Then researchers will try to figure out a process for transferring the educational practices associated with the high-performing schools to their struggling sister schools. This huge project involves the University of Wisconsin, Florida State University, the Education Development Center, Broward County Public Schools, and the Dallas Independent School District;

  • The National Opinion Research Center in Chicago is studying a project that aims to prevent truancy by enlisting truancy officers as conduits for social services;

  • At the University of Massachusetts, researchers will be testing the educational efficacy of "personal response systems." (That's electronic clickers to you and me.),

  • Researchers at The Ohio State University will explore teaching and learning argumentative writing in English classes;

  • Researchers at the Alexandria, Va.-based CNA Corp. will test whether a professional development program aimed at helping teachers make better use of data will lead to improved student achievement;
  • and
  • WestEd, a San Francisco-based research group, will operate a new National Center for Cognition and Mathematics Instruction.


These, of course, come on top of the $100 million research program on reading comprehension that I wrote about last month. And, If you're a regular reader of this blog, you may notice that many of these projects already reflect the proposed priorities the institute trotted out just yesterday.

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